The average bride spends nearly $200 on her hair and makeup for the big day.  If a bride requires the stylist to be onsite at the wedding, it can become considerably more expensive.  Of course you want to look amazing on your special day, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to look your best!  Here are five ways to save money on your hair and makeup.

Have a friend or family member style your hair and/or do your makeup for free.

If you’re clueless when it comes to makeup and styling your hair (like I am), do you have a friend or relative who is skilled with a makeup brush or a curling iron?  Ask her if she would we willing to do your hair or makeup for the big day.  She’ll be flattered that you asked!  Do a “trial run” prior to the wedding to make sure that you and the friend are on the same page.

If you’re a makeup or hair curling expert yourself, or you’re a low-maintenance bride having a casual wedding, why not just do it yourself?  The only problem is that buying makeup (if you don’t have enough already) can become as expensive as hiring a professional to do your makeup.  Ask a beauty maven friend if you can borrow her makeup for your special day.  This could be her gift to you or you could offer to let her borrow something from you in exchange for her makeup.

Get clip-in extensions instead of “real” extensions.

My hair is very thin and I wanted my hair to look amazing on my wedding day.  I’m a self-conscious person, and I knew I would feel more confident if I looked my best.  I considered getting “real” extensions (the kind that are tied into your hair at a beauty salon) until I realized that those can cost $1,000+.  My hairstylist recommended clip-in extensions instead.  Clip-in extensions cost $100-200 and can be easily removed after the wedding (they can also be reused for other special occasions).  Make sure you don’t buy too many of them (I bought two packages of extensions but only ended up using one) because they are not returnable.

Tip: if you’re going to dye your hair (a darker color) before the wedding, buy extensions that are a shade or two lighter than your current hair color.  It’s easier to darken the extensions than to lighten them.

Don’t waste money on an expensive hairpiece you’ll only wear once.

You don’t really need a tiara, hair clip, headband, or any other expensive hairpiece that you will only wear once.  Buy a cheap hairpiece or skip it all together.

Schedule an appointment with a cosmetics counter.

Many cosmetic counters offer free makeovers.  The risk with this one is that you won’t be sure exactly what to expect, but hey, it’s free!  Have a back-up plan ready in case you and the stylist don’t see eye-to-eye.

Say you’re a bridesmaid.

Tell the salon that you are a bridesmaid or that the makeup is for some other special occasion.  Everything becomes more expensive with the word “wedding” attached to it.  It may not be ethical, but the insane markup on everything wedding-related isn’t exactly ethical either.

How did you save money on your hair or makeup at your wedding?


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